"You must be nuts!"
I've had that line thrown at me in more or less similar words innumerable times during the course of my 24 years on the planet. But to have it said to me 5 times on a single day and that too on the occasion of my 24th birthday was a record setter of sorts. The reason was just that I told these folks that I was going skydiving next weekend (My first jump too)! What's the compulsion to land back on earth in the plane that had taken you up? What's so crazy about using a parachute once in a while?
The 5th person to tell me that was an old guy named Doug with whom I go out for a cigarette break. He's an incredibly jovial guy and being nearly 65 doesn't deter him from being as feisty as a 20 year old when it comes to guy talk.
Conversation under two umbrellas below the "smoking" tree just outside the J&J property limits as the tail end of Hurricane Kyle pelts down rain-
Doug: "You must be nuts!"
Me: "Yeah! Just a little bit."
Doug: "I would never do that 'cause I am really afraid of heights."
Me: "Umm... Maybe I am too. I am all gung-ho about it now. Don't know how I'll feel though when I am standing in front of an open door with the Atlantic coast 10000 odd feet below me!!! All I can say is that I've been wanting to do this all my life and now I am going to do it!"
Doug: (Pauses) "Care for some advice from an old man?"
Doug: (Ignoring my feeble protests) "In my life, I have no absolutely no regrets for what I have done. Every mistake has taught me something valuable. My only regrets are for what I've wanted to do but did not!"
Roger that, Doug! That's one piece of advice that is for keeps...